Date   

Mt. Diablo south Gate and Summit Roads

rosita94598
 

After reading about the Black-chinned Sparrow being seen in San Mateo County, I decided to breakout and try South Gate Road on Mt. Diablo. Just below the entry kiosk used to be the place to find them, but it has not worked for years. It did not work today, either. IN fact, it was eerily quiet, though I finally heard a singing Bewick's Wren.

I drove as high as Muir picnic area, where the Red Columbine's are still blooming. No Black-chinned or Bell's Sparrow here, either. They may be around, it just did not work for me.

At Muir I did hear a California Thrasher and also had a House Finch, Lesser Goldfinches, a nice N. Flicker (Red-shafted), both Bewick's and House Wren, and a female Cowbird bird-dogging an Ash-throated Flycatcher.

I stopped a couple of other places on the way down and had Western Bluebird, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Lazuli Bunting, and heard more CA Thrasher, Wrentit and Spotted Towhee. I was home before 11 AM.

Advisories for Mount Diablo State Park may be read here: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=517

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Tuesday in Heather Farm Park

rosita94598
 

It was so quiet in the park this morning that I did not even find a Barn Swallow. Ted Robertson may have, though I have not yet seen his eBird list.

A Red-tailed Hawk was on the Hale Property near the private Seven Hills School. Ted saw it on a power pole, I saw it bird-dogged by a Mockingbird to an oak tree near the houses. Along the equestrian parking lot were Western Bluebird, Titmouse and Chickadee.

The Green Heron was present, along with several small surviving Mallard families. The Canada Geese are having no apparent problems.

The Killdeer family continued on the north ball fields, despite the many activities which occur here; mowing, softball batting practice, off-leash dogs,joggers, Frisbee players and others.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Pileated Woodpecker

@Zathah
 

This morning at 7:45, we arrived at the end of Moraga Road and Canyon to see if we could find the Pileated. After getting out of the car, I pulled out my phone to see what a Pileated Woodpecker call sounded like just in case we came upon one. At that moment we heard the indistinguishable sound of drumming. We quickly walked 50 yards back on the road toward Valle Vista, and there it was!!!
The Woodpecker drummed for nearly a half an hour, about every 3 minutes. He was not bothered by us standing on the road taking photos. At one point, he flew west above the Redwood forest. It seemed as though another Pileated appeared on the same telephone pole. The 2 other birders and I did not see the original bird come back. Although we compared the first photos with the later photos taken and can not distinguish for certain any differences. We went hiking near by and heard one more drum about 20 minutes later.


Northern Mockingbird

Sheila Dickie
 

One good thing about the lockdown is that instead of lounging in a local coffee shop for hours I now have my elevenses in the back garden. Today my reward was a pair of juvenile Northern Mockingbirds atop the apple tree with one adult feeding them. I have not seen young Mockingbirds around for many years.

I thought there was a nest  nearby as the adults have been racing up and down the street chasing everyone else away.

Sheila Dickie
Richmond
5.31.20


Pileated Woodpecker continuing at Pinehurst Road

Donald Lewis
 

Sorry for a two-day late post but I had fallen off the EBB  member list so the post wasn’t accepted until Aaron put me back on. He says that sometimes one is delisted when an EBB email is marked spam, which a klutz like me may well have done by accident.

 

Don Lewis

Lafayette, CA

 

The Pileated Woodpecker reported spasmodically since April 10 near the intersection of Pinehurst and Canyon Roads, near the Valle Vista Staging Area, Moraga, was present at 11:00 Thursday morning.

 

Here is Judith Dunham’s eBird report: Our group first heard powerful staccato drumming, then shortly thereafter the diagnostic loud repetitive call, notably different from that of NOFL or another woodpecker. The bird was not far away but did not emerge to perch on the telephone pole where it has been seen in recent weeks.

 

The stake-out telephone pole is about 50 yards from the intersection toward Moraga.  It has wires and insulators but the bird has been seen on the broken-off part extending 3 feet above the crossbar.

 

Note that  Moraga Road is closed 9-5 weekdays due to bridge construction. Between those hours, the site can be reached on PInehurst Road via Canyon or from the Redwood Regional Park main entrance. Also, the Valle Vista Staging lot reopened Friday morning.

 

Don Lewis

Lafayette, CA

 

 


Albino female House Finch - Antioch yard - 5/30

Paul Schorr
 

The albino female House Finch that first appeared in our yard on April 15 continues to visit the feeders and bird bath. She is accompanied by a normal-colored male and it is likely that they have nested somewhere nearby. When we first observed the pair, we watched her collecting nesting material.

Stay well, be safe and Happy Birding,

Paul Schorr
Antioch


Birds in Walnut Creek

rosita94598
 

After the overnight thunder and rain, I checked Heather Farm this morning. The two Killdeer kids are still with their parents.

A male Nuttall's Woodpecker stuck his head into the nest hole the family left 2-1/2 weeks or so back. He even tapped on the side of the limb, as though to communicate. I am not sure if a female is re-using the nest for a second family or not. It has not been my personal experience that they use the same hole twice, but I am no expert.

Lots of Bushtits were at the south end of the large, mostly natural pond.

Two Red-tailed Hawks were near the private Seven Hills School; one on one pole, the other on another pole. A Scrub-Jay and then a Mockingbird let one of the hawks know they were not welcome there. The hawk did not budge.

A young Western Bluebird was along a fence at the north ball fields.

Yesterday I watched an Anna's Hummingbird hawking tiny insects near the gnarly oak on the west side of the big pond. The cloud of insects was not visible except with my binoculars, but maybe if they were closer to the ground I could have seen them.

In our home patio, we have a California Towhee right now, I can here it outside. It came earlier this morning, too. We also have had the Juncos continue to come for seeds. I thought that by now they might be bringing the kids, but that has not happened.

No signs of what the Green Heron or the Common Gallinule might be doing in terms of nesting. I have not seen either for a couple of days. Nor have I seen the Caspian Tern, no matter how early and long I stay.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Re: Continuing Ross’s and Cackling geese, Quarry Lakes Regional Park

C Lou
 





Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: Gerry McChesney <gerry.mcchesney@...>
Date: 5/28/20 7:40 PM (GMT-08:00)
To: ebb-sightings@groups.io
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] Continuing Ross’s and Cackling geese, Quarry Lakes Regional Park

The single Ross’s and Cackling geese hanging out with the many Canadas that have been reported on ebird the last few days were present this evening at 6:45 pm, at the main swimming beach at Quarry Lakes.

Gerry McChesney
Fremont, CA


Continuing Ross’s and Cackling geese, Quarry Lakes Regional Park

Gerry McChesney
 

The single Ross’s and Cackling geese hanging out with the many Canadas that have been reported on ebird the last few days were present this evening at 6:45 pm, at the main swimming beach at Quarry Lakes.

Gerry McChesney
Fremont, CA


Merlin near Jewel Lake, Tilden Nature Area May 27

Pam Young
 

MERLIN near Jewel Lake at 6:45AM, Wednesday May 27
On Wednesday, May 27, near Jewel Lake, Tilden Nature Area, drifting semiplumes caught my gaze - Junco-sized, one, then two, then many. I looked up. About twenty feet above me, a MERLIN was footing and tearing at its prey! A Steller's jay flew near, swooped and scolded. The Merlin mantled, then reared sharply, raised its wings, and the jay retreated. The Merlin continued feeding, its crop expanded. Two Steller's jays arrived, swooped and scolded the feeding Merlin. The Merlin disappeared with its prey into the dense Bay laurels.

Good birding,

Pam Young
Berkeley


Re: Corvid behavior and migrants

Hilary Powers
 

On 5/27/2020 11:28 AM, Judith Dunham wrote:
Enjoyed your report, Jim!

Over here, a mile south of UC Berkeley, we have been amused by the antics of an American Crow pair nesting for the second season in tall trees three properties to the east of us. ...
All good tales, and here's another -

The 4th-Wednesday non-Golden Gate Audubon walk at Lake Merritt (7 socially distanced birders this time!) witnessed another round of Crow vs Green Heron action. This time the heron was on its usual stamping grounds - the rip-rap alongside the near island - and the crow made what looked like repeated attempts to land on it, foiled every time by the reach of that short-sword beak. Eventually the crow wandered off.

What's up with this? Anyone ever seen a crow divert its mischief to a heron instead of a hawk?

--
~ Hilary Powers - Hilary@... - Oakland CA ~
~ www.salamanderfeltworks.com; www.Etsy.com/shop/SalamanderFeltworks ~
~ Needle Felted Sculpture - Real and Fantasy Creatures ~


Re: Corvid behavior and migrants

Judith Dunham
 

Enjoyed your report, Jim!

Over here, a mile south of UC Berkeley, we have been amused by the antics of an American Crow pair nesting for the second season in tall trees three properties to the east of us. For months, the adults have been coming to our backyard. We have plentiful amenities: a fenced small pond; two large shallow dishes of water (to keep the raccoons, skunks, and possums happy and out of the pond); and a smaller flat dish of water set in the branches of a low tree. The crows prefer this small dish, not only for drinking but for soaking food. The crows--no puzzle about their ID. So we try to identify the food. Hey, that looks like half a bagel! Is that toast with or without crust? My goodness, half a sandwich. Cheese? Any ham with that? Now that the noisy kids are out of the nest, the adults are showing them the ropes. Here's the yard you want to visit. Here's the water. Now find your own sandwich.

Somewhat along these lines, the current New Yorker (cover with another priceless rendering by recent Pulitzer winner Barry Blitt) has a cartoon of two Rock Pigeons wearing headsets and sitting in chairs in front of screens, mimicking the look of air traffic controllers. One pigeon is doing the talking: "All units--we've got about half a revolting panini at the northeast corner of Bleeker and Tenth."

To conclude: A Swainson's Thrush stopped by our pond two evenings ago. Only the second I've observed in our yard.

Judith Dunham
Berkeley, CA


Memorial Day Backyard Bird Sit!

Alan Kaplan
 

Friends!
May 25, 2020, 6-7:30 pm
El Cerrito

Highlight was 2 juvenile Western Bluebirds, and seeing one of them fed by Mom.

Lesser Goldfinches using the water fountain was also special, three at a time and taking turns!

Biggest bird of the day was Air National Guard HC-130J Memorial Day flyover around 2 pm.

Best of Boids!
Alan Kaplan


Corvid behavior and migrants

Jim Chiropolos
 

I have been enjoying watching the corvid behavior from my yard recently. Scrub jays are nesting in the next yard over, and crows are nesting in Monterey Pines in the next-next yard. Once a day, a raven makes a pass through the yard area. As the raven soars on through, one-by-one, all the nesting crows in the neighborhood make a sally to let the raven know this is not their airspace. I think we have three crow nests in the neighborhood as this is an excellent way to census crows. The close-to-home pair is especially protective. This pair is sallies out when a turkey vulture flys within 100 feet - the only one in the neighborhood to do so. I can imagine the turkey vulture thinking - "Why me, I'm harmless" but that's not what the local crows think.

The crow - scrub jay interaction is especially interesting. As long as the crows stay 20 feet and use the upper telephone wire perches, the scrub jays ignore them. But if the crows use the lower telephone wires (six-feet lower), a sudden loud screech is heard and the scrub jays drive the offending crow off. For the first year, the crows have become aware of the yard suet feeder. The suet feeder is a prized possession of the scrub jay territory and in past years, they have aggressively driven away the Steller's jays using the live oaks from the suet feeder. I wondered, what will happen with the crows? The crows don't stand a chance despite being bigger. If a scrub jay sees the crows by the suet feeder, a loud screech and they attack the crow who after a half-hearted defense, flies away leaving the suet feeder to the jay. That is not what I thought would happen!

Its been a good year for the chickadees nesting in the house, they are about to fledge a second clutch from the hole -in-the-house next. I enjoy being in the yard this time of year as there are always chickadees and titmouse chattering and young being fed. Maybe two families of each use the greater yard area.

Surprisingly, I had several migrants move through the yard this morning. A very late calling Cassin's vireo, an Olive-sided flycatcher and a yellow warbler were all seen this morning.

Lots to see out there!
Good Birding,
Jim Chiropolos, Orinda


Heather Farm Park Tuesday

rosita94598
 

Several highlights today, but the best was a Spotted Sandpiper seen on the tip of the island closest to the Big Oak. This is the third report of this species this spring/summer, I think.

Two Ravens were again present in the park, though they were not picking through the ball field bathroom dumpster like they were yesterday. Today they were perched atop the conifer at the entrance to the truck-wash place. It is the Merlin tree.

A Bushtit adult went into the nest while I was present, I thought they would be long gone by now. It is easy to lose track of time.

I heard White-breasted Nuthatch and Nuttall's Woodpecker sounds, but never saw them.

Two Scrub Jays were at the corner of the equestrian parking lot again, like they were yesterday. A Red-tailed Hawk was on the pole in the middle of the Hale Property, facing east. It is very pale on the front.

Three adult Killdeers and two chicks were on the grass out from the snack bar area at the north ball field. That was when I first arrived. They were gone when I checked later.

A Western Bluebird male was on top of the gnarly oak the first time around, too. Oddly, I did not see or hear the Mockingbird today.

Another miss is the Red-winged Blackbirds. They may have finished their time in the park until fall/winter. I do not recall hearing them yesterday, either.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek


Lazuli Bunting - Mullholland Ridge

don_quixote72
 

A nice woman who birds here everyday pointed out a lazuli bunting at the very end of the mullholland ridge trail (or the beginning if you are walking up hill from the moraga side) off to the right in the mustard. Sure enough, there it was, and it came in much closer to the trail. Thank you!


Re: Sharing eBird personal hotspots

Alan Bade
 

Good idea, thanks! Fred- I'll send you the list. It is a good spot with a variety of habitat, very few people on the trails, and a direct route up the east side of Mt Diablo. I'm replying all because I also want to publicly thank our EBB and eBird volunteers. You are appreciated for your work maintaining a system that we all use and enjoy!

Alan Bade
Pleasant Hill 

On Mon, May 25, 2020 at 7:55 PM Aaron Maizlish <amm.birdlists@...> wrote:

On May 25, 2020, at 7:17 PM, Fred Werner <sustainablefred@...> wrote:

Thanks everyone for the replies.  Is there a way to select someone else's personal spot as an eBird location (and to second their recommendation of a hotspot?)  Alan's "Perkins Canyon" seems to be the same area we birded on Saturday, and it seems like a fantastic spot.


The way that two people can both use the same personal hotspot is to have the first person share a checklist, any checklist, of that hotspot with you; i.e. Alan could share one of his Perkins Canyon lists with you.  You then would accept his list, but of course you should later delete it if you weren’t actually birding together.  Even after you delete that list, that personal hotspot will remain on your list of hotspots.  

This is especially useful if multiple people occasionally bird on a piece of private property together like a ranch or an invitation-only spot that you wish to keep for private use.  In the case of a public area like Perkins Canyon it might be better for the eBird hotspot reviewer to ultimately make it a hotspot, although there is no guarantee that they will get around to that any time soon, they are volunteers after all.

Good birding,

Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco and Emeryville 



Sharing eBird personal hotspots

Aaron Maizlish
 


On May 25, 2020, at 7:17 PM, Fred Werner <sustainablefred@...> wrote:

Thanks everyone for the replies.  Is there a way to select someone else's personal spot as an eBird location (and to second their recommendation of a hotspot?)  Alan's "Perkins Canyon" seems to be the same area we birded on Saturday, and it seems like a fantastic spot.


The way that two people can both use the same personal hotspot is to have the first person share a checklist, any checklist, of that hotspot with you; i.e. Alan could share one of his Perkins Canyon lists with you.  You then would accept his list, but of course you should later delete it if you weren’t actually birding together.  Even after you delete that list, that personal hotspot will remain on your list of hotspots.  

This is especially useful if multiple people occasionally bird on a piece of private property together like a ranch or an invitation-only spot that you wish to keep for private use.  In the case of a public area like Perkins Canyon it might be better for the eBird hotspot reviewer to ultimately make it a hotspot, although there is no guarantee that they will get around to that any time soon, they are volunteers after all.

Good birding,

Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco and Emeryville 



Re: east of Mt. Diablo: Willow Flycatcher, Phainopepla, Bullock's Oriole

Fred Werner
 

Thanks everyone for the replies.  Is there a way to select someone else's personal spot as an eBird location (and to second their recommendation of a hotspot?)  Alan's "Perkins Canyon" seems to be the same area we birded on Saturday, and it seems like a fantastic spot.

The "Morgan Territory Road" hotspot (Thanks for mentioning it Ethan!), with a map point ~3.5 miles further south, does seem more appropriate just for birds seen from the road, as you suggested.  A year ago, on our way home from Morgan Territory, we paused on Morgan Territory Rd. (not far from that hotspot's map point no less!) and picked up a few additional species in a pond and trees visible from the roadside.  So I've now edited that list to set its location as the "Morgan Territory Rd." hotspot.

Earlier on Saturday, we parked in the "Three Springs Staging Area" on Marsh Creek Rd. (which I think is the spot you you were referring to, Lois).  I think the eBird hotspot "Northeast of Mt. Olympia" refers to this area: the paved road & trails leading uphill (south) from the Three Springs trailhead with signs pointing to Mt. Olympia.  The same friend who had recommended the Perkins Canyon parking spot on Morgan Territory Rd. also told us about this place.  She'd seen/heard dozens of Lazuli Buntings there a few weeks earlier. There weren't any (visible or audible) when we went this Saturday (before continuing to Perkins Canyon / Morgan Territory Rd.).  Highlights here were Blue-gray Gnatchatchers, Ash-throated Flycatchers, and lots of flowers (including Mariposa Lilies) and butterflies.  It was beautiful!  Here's the first of 2 eBird lists from that hike, with a link to the second:


Cheers!

- Fred


On Mon, May 25, 2020 at 5:39 PM Alan Bade <alanb1491187@...> wrote:
Hi Fred- we bird (and hike/look at flowers) there as well. The east side of Mt Diablo burned there a while back and had very interesting fire follower flowers. If you head due west up the utility road, it can get steep and in chaparral. The riparian oak section due south, and then up the road towards the Diablo Bowman facility (private property) is also good. There's single track trail that follows the creek, but that might be pretty "ticky" by now.
I've called my checklist location Mt Diablo SP-Perkins Canyon and clicked "suggest as hotspot" when I entered my list. We had at least 6 Phainopeplas there on April 29th. Good to hear that some are still nearby.We saw them in the oaks here; 37.8994298,-121.8734357 . Males and females. Ebird needed comments with that many counted.  https://ebird.org/checklist/S68048424

Good birding to all, even if hot!

Alan Bade
Pleasant Hill

On Mon, May 25, 2020 at 4:16 PM Fred Werner <sustainablefred@...> wrote:
On the east side of Mt. Diablo on Saturday afternoon, we got great looks at a singing Willow Flycatcher.  Photos audio and links to video are all on the eBird list:


Also, good (if fleeting) looks at a Phainopepla and an adult pair of Bullock's Orioles.

This was on Morgan Territory Rd., ~ .1 mile south of its north end at Marsh Creek Rd., just south of the agricultural settling pond west of the road.  There's a small parking area and an entrance to a network of trails w.  I don't know if there's a name for this area, there's no signage except for individual trail markers (some marked literally "Trail <->"). It's not an eBird hotspot, but I was directed there by someone who'd seen Phainopeplas there before so maybe it should be?  

These birds were in the oaks uphill less than 1/4 mile due west from the road.  

Apologies for the late posting, took me this long to get my photos/video/audio uploaded.

Happy hot summer birding everyone!

- Fred



Re: White-eyed Vireo - Patterson Pass

Bruce Mast
 

Since I haven't seen any other reports yet from today, I'm sharing this negative report for White-eyed Vireo from this morning. Having rolled into town from the Mojave Desert last night at 10 pm, I took my sweet time this morning and arrived onsite at Patterson Pass Rd. around 10 am. Ran into Pat Mahoney, Srikant Char, and Ralph (?), where I learned that (a) they make cars now with power windows that roll down with the push of a button, and (b) I hadn't missed a thing. A couple of us birded the area until about noon, playing White-eyed Vireo recording periodically for the last hour or so. No response. I suspect this one was a one-day wonder.

Bruce Mast
Oakland


On Sun, May 24, 2020 at 2:44 PM Ethan Monk <z.querula@...> wrote:
The vireo continues approx mile 6.25. Singing 
 Bouts of song. Very hard to see, but possible.

Ethan

On May 24, 2020, at 2:01 PM, Steve Huckabone <shuckabone@...> wrote:



This morning starting around 7:15AM I heard a White-eyed Vireo deep in the riparian raven at the sharp blind curve. The bird moved slowly westward calling persistently. Several times the bird would work it’s way to bare willow branches allowing great looks.  When it reached an area bare of willows at MM ~6.05 it turned back to the east basically retracing the original route. After nearly 2 hours I left it still calling with another birder (sorry forgot his name) tailing it.

Sorry for the late report.

 

EBIRD: Report

https://ebird.org/checklist/S69577629

 

 

Steve Huckabone

Alameda County

Livermore, CA